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Question marks over Nairn County A line-up making life difficult as Loch Ness manager Shane Carling tries to prepare for North Caledonian League encounter


By Andrew Henderson

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Loch Ness manager Shane Carling is trying to prepare for the unknown ahead of his side’s North Caledonian League match against Nairn County A.

At Station Park, an injury crisis has meant that a handful of regulars from the North Caley squad have been called into the first team, in turn meaning that under-18s have been needed to fill in the gaps for the reserves.

At the same time, when first team stars have been working their way back to fitness it has not been uncommon for them to play a match or two in the NCL.

Loch Ness boss Shane Carling is not taking anything for granted ahead of their North Caley match against Nairn County A. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Loch Ness boss Shane Carling is not taking anything for granted ahead of their North Caley match against Nairn County A. Picture: James Mackenzie.

So Carling is not sure what to expect from their line up, but he believes it will be a tough match for Loch Ness regardless of Nairn’s personnel.

“They’re doing all right in mid-table at the moment,” long time Loch Ness boss Carling said.

“They’re a young team, and it’s not going to be easy – they won’t stop running. It’s definitely going to be a hard game, 100 per cent, but I’m expecting us to get a result.

“They’ve come up and had a couple of good results already this season, so they can definitely compete with some of the older heads. I’m looking forward to it, but it will definitely be a hard game.

“I spoke to Nairn last week, and a few of the young boys have been up on the bench in the Highland League. I do believe they’ve got boys coming back from injury, and they usually give them game time in the North Caley.

“With Nairn having such a big squad, will they be giving boys game time or are they not back yet? You just don’t know.”

Carling has the vast majority of the Loch Ness squad to pick from, which should help as they look to go into 2022 still leading the pack.

“If we can get three victories before Christmas, that would be a great start for us,” Carling added.

“It has been good already, but if we can get past the halfway point at the top of the league it could be really good for us.”


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